By Janis Mork
October 18, 2012 (San Diego)- Democrat Jerry Tetalman is running against Republican Congressman Darrell Issa in the 49th District this November. Issa is among the wealthiest members of Congress and has long been viewed as invincible in a largely Republican district—though Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) have documented numerous controversies and most recently, filed ethics and a Department of Justice complaint against Issa.
Tetalman supports a future of peace and prosperity based on building a world ruled by democratic law rather than force, and a sustainable economy in harmony with the environment.
“I believe we can create a more just, peaceful and prosperous country and world by the laws we create,” he states on his website. “America is a land of opportunity and the world’s leader in democratic values, with its best days yet to come.” In an interview with ECM, Tetalman said he was motivated to run because “I’ve been a long time political activist and I’m an author. I’ve helped other people with their congressional campaigns. Now I think it’s time for me to step up. I wanted to run to make a difference. I didn’t like Issa’s environmental stance and his view on women’s issues.”
For his budget priorities, he states, “I believe we need to balance the budget. We have a huge deficit problem. We’re moving in the right direction, but still have a long way to go. Governor Romney said he wanted to increase defense spending, but [defense spending] is supposed to be cut under the sequestration. (Sequestration mandates trigger cuts if spending exceeds budget allocations and Congress doesn’t vote to raise the limits. The goal of sequestration is to cut the deficit by slashing by an equal percentage nearly all programs, including the military budget.) Romney doesn’t want it, but I do. We should close any bases around the world and consolidate, and not close any bases here.” He adds, “We have a non-functional Congress, not getting any legislation or agreements.”
For his views on domestic policy in taxation, Medicare, and Social Security, he argues, “I believe in fair taxation. I believe the Bush era tax cuts should expire at the end of this year. The idea is we need to move to fair taxation. That’s an important issue in this race. Another important issue is Medicare and Social Security. I don’t believe in increasing the age of Social Security. Medicare is an important safety net. [Vice President for Governor Romney] Paul Ryan wants to privatize it. I don’t believe in it. Medicare needs to be protected.”
He also shared his view on the wind production energy tax credits. “I believe wind is an important source of energy, especially in California… I think the whole nation needs to move to renewables and geothermal, and to move out of imported oil.”
Regarding his view on Pell Grant funds given to struggling college students, “I really believe we need to support loans for students to go to school. I think education is becoming quite expensive. I believe we need to subsidize more state schools; we’ve squeezed the population out of CSU and UC schools. We should be very careful of the cost, so kids don’t come out of [there with] loans that they’ll have trouble paying off.”
He argues that Issa wants to extend the Bush era tax cuts, and that’s what the Republican philosophy is.
Tetalman was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where he first became politically active in high school participating in a protest to end the Vietnam War. He went to Ohio State to earn a B.S. in Nursing. He then moved out to San Diego and got his Master’s in psychology at the University of Humanistic Studies in 1982. In 1989, he and his wife, Kathy, also a nurse, made a career change and became real estate agents and investors, which he has become successful at. In 2004, they started their own real estate and property management company.
In 2002, he participated in an anti-war protest around the country and attended the World Federalist Movement’s International Meeting in Copenhagen. After extensive research on the topic of war and peace, he wrote and published a book with activist Byron Belitso, “One World Democracy: A Progressive Vision for Enforceable Global Law”, which won the San Diego Book Award as the best political science book in 2005. He became president of the San Diego Citizens for Global Solutions, and the California Citizens for Global Solutions.
He volunteers with organizations helping people overcome fear and succeed in business and life. He and his wife Kathy have lived in the North County since 1988, and have a 29 year old daughter, who lives in the Bay Area.
On his website, he takes a stance on a number of additional issues in the race from the economy to union rights.
On the economy, he would “help create jobs and sustainable economic growth by creating a favorable business environment through a sound fiscal policy…Businesses need access to low interest loans to encourage expansion and job creation.”
On world peace and international relations, his website states, “America shall strive to be a beacon of freedom, human rights and democracy. Our foreign policy shall reflect these ideals. We will develop and support the United Nations and NATO as institutions of global governance. America with act with its allies to maintain peace and security in the world.”
He says terrorism “shall be viewed as criminal act. People responsible shall be brought to justice, and individuals held responsible…”
On veterans, “America needs to support its returning veterans with job assistance and health care system that supports physical and mental health.”
On immigration, “America needs an immigration reform bill that supports human rights and addresses the reality of economy and utilizes immigrant labor. Our laws need to strive to create situation that benefits America and American businesses while providing opportunity to immigrants. America needs to work closely with Mexico to develop a plan to reduce illegal immigration. The Dream Act is needed to protect children who were brought to this country by their parents, and who now want to attend college in the country they view as home.”
On healthcare, “Basic healthcare access is a human right. We need support for ongoing healthcare reform with the goal of providing quality healthcare to all Americans.”
On criminal justice, “Creating safe communities is a top priority. Support effective community policing. Intensify rehabilitation programs to reduce prison populations. Oppose privatization of prisons.”
As for equality of opportunity, he believes we should “promote a society that provides equal rights and opportunity to all people.”
On women’s rights, he observes, “For reproductive options, a woman’s right to choose must be protected. Government has no place involving itself in healthcare decisions between a woman and her doctor. Separation of church and state must be maintained on issues of abortion and contraception.”
On labor issues, he notes, “Unions are what built the middle class in America, and American workers should have the right to organize and negotiate for a fair living wage in both private and public sector jobs. Unions have given American workers 40-hr work weeks, health care benefits, and safety in the workplace. Balance must be maintained between management and union.”
On his website, under the issue of ‘immigration’, he mentioned that ‘we need to develop guest worker programs.’ He explains that, “California and America have large agriculture. We’re the biggest exporter. [This program] should be designed for agricultural workers to come in, not for permanent residency, where we really need people. That way, people aren’t here illegally.”
His contributions are from individuals, he states. “The average donation is around $100 or several thousand. These people are committed to political change. Most don’t live close to the district.”
He also wants readers to know, “This election is all about the middle class, creating jobs through innovation etc. We should protect the rights of workers. Our system has become corrupted by politics and special interests. The government stands for private corporations. I stand for the public interest, public good.”
For more information on Tetalman, visit: http://jerryforcongress2012.com/site/.
After reapportionment, the district now includes Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Encinitas, Carlsbad, and Vista. View a map: http://jerryforcongress2012.com/site/about/the-49th-district/.